Brain conditions affect millions of Canadians. They can affect our mobility and damage dexterity. They can impair memory and our ability to think. They can make it hard to see, speak and communicate. They can be painful and debilitating.
NHCC is proud of its participation in the National Population Health Study of Neurological Conditions, the most comprehensive study of brain conditions ever conducted in this country. The Study gave us crucial information that we can now use to improve the quality of life for people living with brain conditions. It also pointed out serious gaps in knowledge that additional research must fill as soon as possible.
Brain conditions are both costly to affected individuals and their families, and to Canada as a whole. The Study found that by 2031, depending on the condition, total direct health care costs related to certain brain conditions will be up to $13.3 billion greater than health care costs of Canadians without these specific conditions. (For more details, see the Study report: Mapping Connections: An Understanding Neurological Conditions in Canada)
If innovations in care, prevention and treatment can be found – if cures can be found – a substantial amount of these costs could be directed to address other important personal and societal needs.
Far too little is known about the causes, prevention and treatment of most brain conditions. Thanks to advances in research, innovative therapies are available for some brain conditions. Unfortunately, many others remain untreatable, and their progressive course means that Canadians living with these conditions face continued deterioration, greater disability, a reduced quality of life and less ability to participate in Canadian society.
NHCC is ready and eager to work with the Government of Canada and other partners to accelerate Canadian brain health research. See our policy paper for NHCC solutions for accelerating brain research and other pressing issues.